There are few car companies I can think of that embrace multiple versions of their brand names.
The only other ones that come close, I think, are Volkswagen and BMW. Volkswagen is commonly referred to as VW, of course, even in the company’s marketing. You can call BMW Bavarian Motor Works (or the German version which I won’t try to spell or pronounce), but that isn’t nearly as common in their marketing.
Sure, you can refer to a Cadillac as a “Caddy” or a Jaguar as a “Jag” or a GMC truck as a General Motors Corporation truck or a Mercedes-Benz as either a Mercedes or a Benz. But those alternate names aren’t really used in the marketing for those brands (and certainly are not used as their top-level domains for their sites).
But then there’s Chevrolet, which gives us nuggets like this:
Chevrolet is often referred to as simply Chevy. Chevy or Chevrolet. They’re interchangable.
What’s interesting is that Chevrolet actually promotes Chevy.com as the place to get more car information:
In fact, many of the ads I found for Chevrolet products referred to Chevy.com, while others touted Chevrolet.com.
It’s not a bad strategy. In our common American culture, Chevy is practically a household name. Why not take advantage of that to make it easier for web surfers to type your address?
I once asked a PR person at an auto show about this. Did they have a preference of one over the other? She said, no, they embrace both Chevy and Chevrolet as their brand.
So what happens when you go to Chevy.com?
Not surprisingly, Chevy.com simply redirects to Chevrolet.com. There is no separate domain for people who don’t like typing that much (or can’t spell Chevrolet).
Branding is important, but I applaud Chevrolet (or Chevy) for embracing its dual personalities.